Austin MacGinnis on Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List
LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky sophomore placekicker Austin MacGinnis continues to receive honors after his impressive rookie campaign last season for Kentucky, most recently being named one of 30 placekickers to the 2015 Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List, it was announced Thursday.
Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2014 season and 2015 expectations. All 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences are represented among the 30 kickers, led by the Atlantic Coast Conference with six, the Pac-12 with five, and the Big 12 with four. The Big Ten, Mid-American Conference and Southeastern Conference each placed three kickers, followed by a pair each from the American Athletic Conference and Conference USA. The Mountain West and the Sun Belt each placed one kicker.
While the Watch List highlights 30 of the best returning kickers in the country, all FBS kickers are eligible for this year’s award. The Groza Committee will be watching all FBS kickers during the season, and releasing a weekly “Stars of the Week” feature on www.lougrozaaward.com .
Semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award will be announced Nov. 5, while the three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 23. The winner of the 2015 Lou Groza Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 10.
The Award is named for National Football League Hall of Fame kicker Lou “The Toe” Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Although an All-Pro offensive lineman as well, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.
A native of Wedowee, Ala., MacGinnis set six school records in his collegiate debut season, totaling 21 field goals, the most in Kentucky history. He had the most field goals in the SEC last fall, also leading all NCAA freshmen. MacGinnis finished with a school-record 104 points -- equaling the SEC lead -- and was one of only five kickers in the nation with three field goals of 50+ yards.
MacGinnis, who made a UK record 41 extra-point tries without a miss in 2014, set another school mark with the longest field goal in school history, a 54-yard boot at Tennessee. MacGinnis, who earned national placekicker of the week from the College Football Performance Awards after making four field goals at No. 22 Louisville, extending his school-record streak of nine consecutive field goals made. He also set a school record with 25 touchbacks on kickoffs in 2014.
Earlier this summer, MacGinnis was named first-team Preseason All-SEC by Phil Steele College Football.
For more information on the Kentucky football team, visit UKathletics.com or follow @UKFootball on Twitter and Instagram, or Kentucky Football on Facebook.